Medical Clinics Are the New Banks in Stores
By George Anderson
It used to be that banks were popping up in just about every supermarket you went into. Today, banks can still be found in many locations but, increasingly, in-store medical
clinics are finding a synergistic relationship with pharmacies in supermarkets, drugstores and other formats.
Kroger, reports The Commercial Appeal, will open its first in-store medical clinic in Memphis early next month.
“Often our pharmacists end up being the only health care provider some of our customers see,” said Eddie Garcia, head of Kroger’s pharmacy merchandising in the Delta region.
“We decided we wanted someone who could diagnose their illnesses.”
The diagnosis will be provided by licensed nurse practitioners who can run a number of diagnostic tests and write prescriptions for patients.
Kroger has hired Family Medic to run the in-store clinic.
The company’s president, Alonzo Pendleton, said, “We’re looking at seeing roughly 50 patients a day to start. We’d like to see it get to 75 to 80.”
Mr. Pendleton sees the service as quick and efficient. “We expect people will be in and out in 15 minutes. But if there is a wait, we will give them pagers so they can look around
the store until the nurse is ready to see them.”
Grocers such as Kroger are hoping that in-store clinics will encourage shoppers to buy prescription and over-the-counter healthcare items in their stores rather than going elsewhere.
“We’ll tell people that one of their options is to fill the prescription in the store or if it’s an over-the-counter item, where they can find it in the store,” said Family Medic’s
Moderator’s Comment: Are in-store medical clinics demographically neutral, i.e. will they work in all locations, or do you believe they are best suited
for specific stores with customers fitting targeted profiles? How will in-store clinics impact healthcare and retailing in the future? –
George Anderson – Moderator